Tehran, and possibly the whole of Iran, is galvanised by a match to be played at the Azadi stadium between Bahrain and Iran, the victor of which will qualify for the World Cup. Although women are banned from watching, a number of them, undeterred, attempt to buy tickets and enter disguised as men. Funny and fierce in equal measure Offside was filmed during the actual Iran versus Bahrain match in Tehran in 2005.
Panahi has stated "I use the football game as a metaphor to show the discrimination against women on a larger scale. All my movies have that topic at their center. This is what I am trying to change in Iranian society." See more »
Lyrics by Hossein Gol-e-Golab
Music by Ruhollah Khaleghi
Heard over the credits See more »
Positive Iranian Film
Another fantastic film from a country, where due to decades of oppression from fundamentalist regimes, has no problems in creating passionate subject matter. Panahi takes a different approach this time around with a blend of ironic comedy and an endearing, non-professional cast. While still getting across his message of what he sees as being inherently wrong with his country, he does so without the need of a heavy storyline. It is a positive take on a country, in particular its people, that the Iranian population desperately need. The greatest pity is it won't be released domestically. The insular, paranoid Iranian government assert that this fine film maker is only successful overseas because he is part of a global conspiracy to embarrass them. After growing up amid revolution and watching the academics, artists and educated 'disappear' over the last 25 years he shows great bravery in continuing to put his work out there. The realism achieved by shooting at the actual world cup qualifier really transports you to the event. The fact he shot it on 35mm is amazing as most would only attempt this project using a digital format. It looks fantastic. His insistence in only using non-professional actors also really works in this film. Fine performances all round. After watching many films showing the problems Iran has and also the news media reporting the facts we can tend to demonise the people as well as the government. This film does the opposite. It shows us they still love the same things and that by laughing at themselves and the absurd rules of sharia law that maybe a change for the better isn't too far away. Some call Panahi a feminist film maker but I think he just fights for the most oppressed demographic in Iran. Young, independent women.
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